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Virtual organizing has allowed NGOs like NextGen America to focus their attention on rural, young BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) voters — a demographic that has been historically underrepresented in elections in the U.S. These voters have brought climate change and sustainable farming to the forefront of the election in places like rural Iowa. BIPOC rural voters want to fight climate change and encourage more sustainable and safe farming and agribusiness. For example, when Trump reopened meatpacking plants in April, it made Latinx and other immigrant workers more susceptible to coronavirus. Moreover, environmental disasters like the “derecho” wind storm, which destroyed $4B in crops in Iowa alone, made climate change a top issue for rural voters.
Why this Matters: In 2018, only 2 percent of rural voters ages 18 to 29 voted in the midterm elections, according to a report from Tufts’ Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement.The report explains that these voters tend to live in “civic deserts,” — places where aspiring voters aren’t encouraged or don’t have the tools to get engaged. 60% of rural millennials live in civic deserts, and 1/3 of these rural millennials do not have steady access to the internet or cell phone service. Because this demographic consistently gets ignored, it paints a misleading picture of what REALLY matters to rural voters. But that is changing — and it may be enough to make a difference in Iowa this election.
Get Out the Vote organizations have picked up the slack, translating voting instructions and candidate information, and distributing it to rural voters. While the pandemic has slowed many of these efforts down — for example, many voter’s advocacy organizations usually go to universities, conferences, and knocking on doors to reach young rural voters — organizing online has allowed for new ways of reaching out to voters. For example, 18by.vote, a voting organization focused on young people, has expanded their fellowship program, putting new fellows in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Oklahoma in order to connect with young rural voters as directly as possible. These efforts could prove integral to bringing climate change legislation to fruition, even in a fraught political landscape.
by Miro Korenha, co-founder/publisher Our Daily Planet As ABC6 reported, yesterday, “declaring “America is back,” President-elect Joe Biden introduced selections for his national security team Tuesday, his first substantive offering of how he’ll shift from Trump-era “America First” policies by relying on foreign policy and national security experts from the Democratic establishment to be some […]
by Miro Korenha, co-founder/publisher Our Daily Planet Yesterday, President-elect Joe Biden named former Secretary of State John Kerry as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, also announcing that he will sit on the National Security Council. As the Biden transition team wrote in a press release announcing the appointment: “This marks the first time that the […]
A study published last week in the journal Nature provides a new view on the extinction crisis — that most of the planet’s species are not in decline and the ones that are in deep trouble are “clustered.”
Why This Matters: Is the glass half empty or half full? It all depends on how you look at it. These scientists argue that “the way global averages were being estimated could be strongly influenced by a small number of populations that were experiencing extreme declines, even if most were stable.”
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